Monday, January 19, 2009

Coq a la Biere (Chicken with Dark Beer)

Every once in a while, I make a dish that knocks my socks off. It turns out so terrifically that I am blown away. I want to open the window of my apartment yell to the world that they NEED to eat this. Their lives may just depend on it.

Because it is just so good! And I made it! And I want everyone to know what a good cook I am!


But enough of my culinary insecurities. I just want to crawl into the warm, creamy sauce and take a nap. It is just that wonderfully comforting - even if you don't fantasize about sleeping in your food.


Dishes like this I immediately want to make again. In fact, I may just make this again tonight. I do have some Newcastle left over...

Coq a la Biere
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lb chicken thighs
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 tablespoons dry gin
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped peeled carrot
1/2 cup chopped shallots (about 3 medium)
1/2 lb mushrooms, washed and quartered
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 bay leaf
1 cup dark beer ( I like Newcastle)
1/4 cup whole-milk Greek-style yogurt
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Combine flour, salt and pepper in a re-sealable plastic bag. Toss the chicken into the bag and shake until chicken is evenly coated. Heat butter and oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove pan from heat. Pour sherry into one side of pan; return pan to heat. Ignite sherry with a long match; let flames die down. Remove chicken from pan and keep warm.

Add celery, carrot, shallots to pan. Sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms. Place thyme, parsley, and bay leaf on a double layer of cheesecloth or a tea strainer. Add to pan. Stir in beer; bring to a simmer. Return chicken to pan, nestling into vegetable mixture. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until they are done.)

Remove cheesecloth bag or tea strainer. Remove chicken from pan and keep warm. Place pan over medium heat; stir in yogurt. Cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated (do not boil, as the yogurt may curdle). Remove from heat; stir in vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired. Serve chicken topped with vegetables and sauce. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

(adapted from Cooking Light)

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